All style and no substance as the Queen of Pop disappoints Irish fans.
For only the second time ever, her “Madgesty” decided to grace Irish shores with her presence – something that was greeted with much excitement upon the announcement of the gig. However, by the time the audience were making their way out of the Aviva stadium just after 11pm on Tuesday night I, and many others, couldn’t help wishing that she hadn’t bothered.
I have been a fan of Madonna since her very early days and think her longevity in such a cut throat business is to be commended. I wasn’t mad about her last album but I love most of her body of work. Unfortunately, much to my disdain and to others I spoke to, she chose to focus predominately on the recent MDNA and largely ignored her back catalogue, save for a handful of songs. This would be fine if there had been an amazing atmosphere at the gig but that was as flat as Madonna’s hair after performing in the rain for not even two full hours.
The weather wasn’t the issue – I have been to outdoor gigs in Ireland in far worse conditions and still left with a smile on my face – it was more that she didn’t seem to want to be there. She looked bored throughout the show as if she was only going through the motions.
Yes, the show looks spectacular, with plenty of special effects, costume changes and exotic dancing but it was a case of all style and no substance. Underneath the gloss and polish of the production values it was lacking in energy and heart and if an artist doesn’t have that they can’t expect an audience to.
The set didn’t help matters either. Her song choices seemed very erratic and the running order didn’t have a good flow to it. Why she has decided to start playing the guitar on stage in recent years is anybody’s guess as she’s not very competent and it really slows down the show as she gets organised to play. When she did do one of her dancefloor classics the crowd visibly perked up but they were few and far between and usually cut short. Vogue uplifted the audience temporarily but it took Like A Prayer near the end of the night to restore any sort of joy to the soaked and fed up audience.
I was literally about a foot from Madonna at several points during the gig and I can testify that she looks amazing (other than the veiny hands, which are actually incredibly freaky up close). Unfortunately she no longer seems to put the same energy into her performances as she does into her appearance.
Ending with Celebration, she promptly disappeared without so much as a “thank you and good night”, never mind an encore.
I was in the Gold Circle which was not nearly sold out – the first time I have ever seen this at a gig with Gold Circle option. they are usually among the first tickets snapped up. In fact there were plenty of tickets left for the show, which was far from a sell out. This has been blamed on inflated ticket prices, with Madonna claiming that people should save up to get the tickets because she was worth it. I have no doubt she believes that she is but the reality is that she definitely wasn’t worth what she charged people to be there on Tuesday night.